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The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City : Synagoga and Ecclesia in the Thirteenth Century - Nina Rowe

The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City

Synagoga and Ecclesia in the Thirteenth Century

By: Nina Rowe

Hardcover

Published: 4th April 2011
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In the thirteenth century, sculptures of Synagoga and Ecclesia - paired female personifications of the Synagogue defeated and the Church triumphant - became a favored motif on cathedral facades in France and Germany. Throughout the centuries leading up to this era, the Jews of northern Europe prospered finacially and intellectually, a trend that ran counter to the long-standing Christian conception of Jews as relics of the prehistory of the Church. In The Jew, the Cathedral, and the Medieval City, Nina Rowe examines the sculptures as defining elements in the urban Jewish-Christian encounter. She locates the roots of the Synagoga-Ecclesia motif in antiquity and explores the public manifestations of the theme at the cathedrals of Reims, Bamberg, and Strasbourg, considering each example in relation to local politics and culture. Ultimately, she demonstrates that royal and ecclesiastical policies to restrain the religious, social, and economic lives of Jews in the early thirteenth century found a material analog in lovely renderings of a downtrodden Synagoga placed in the public arena of the city square.

'Rowe's approach to her work is impressively versatile, drawing historical, textual, and material evidence into synthesis with formal and stylistic observations to walk the line attentively between the worm's-eye and the bird's-eye view of her subject. The breadth and soundness of the resulting book will interest a wide range of scholars in fields from art history and Jewish studies to theology, anthropology and beyond. The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City ... represents a masterful scholarly accomplishment and a signal contribution to medieval studies.' The Medieval Review
'Rowe's study represents a valuable contribution to the corpus of scholarship on Jewish-Christian interaction, medieval urban history and Gothic art. Scholars and students alike will want to familiarize themselves with Rowe's arguments and imitate her interpretative methodologies.' German History
'The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City is an excellent example of a study on the border between history and art history. ... Rowe's work ... sheds new light on the Synagoga-Ecclesia theme through a probing study of the political and ecclesiastical milieux that generated the monumental ensembles at three important cathedrals: Reims, Bamberg and Strasbourg.' Bulletin monumental
'Rowe's book is one of very few studies of German Gothic sculpture in English; that alone makes it a significant contribution. ... What makes Rowe's study novel is her integration of the images into the social and political circumstances of their production and consumption, above all, those that involved the resident clergy's interactions with and attitudes toward Jews. The Art Bulletin
'Nina Rowe has succeeded in providing scholars with a provocative foray into the difficult problem of the relationship of artistic evidence to the lived realities of social and political life. Often she is forced to speculate, but she is always forthright about the limitations of her evidence. Not everyone will agree with all her conclusions, but no one working in the general area of her concerns can afford to ignore them. Speculum
"Rowe's approach to her work is impressively versatile, drawing historical, textual, and material evidence into synthesis with formal and stylistic observations to walk the line attentively between the worm's-eye and the bird's-eye view of her subject. The breadth and soundness of the resulting book will interest a wide range of scholars in fields from art history and Jewish studies to theology, anthropology and beyond." -Pamela A. Patton, The Medieval Review
"...Rowe's study represents a valuable contribution to the corpus of scholarship on Jewish-Christian interaction, medieval urban history and Gothic art. Scholars and students alike will want to familiarize themselves with Rowe's arguments and imitate her interpretative methodologies." -John D. Young, German History
"The Jew, the Cathedral and the Medieval City is an excellent example of a study on the border between history and art history. ... Rowe's work ... sheds new light on the Synagoga-Ecclesia theme through a probing study of the political and ecclesiastical milieux that generated the monumental ensembles at three important cathedrals: Reims, Bamberg and Strasbourg." Bulletin monumental
"Rowe's book is one of very few studies of German Gothic sculpture in English; that alone makes it a significant contribution. ... What makes Rowe's study novel is her integration of the images into the social and political circumstances of their production and consumption, above all, those that involved the resident clergy's interactions with and attitudes toward Jews." The Art Bulletin
"Nina Rowe has succeeded in providing scholars with a provocative foray into the difficult problem of the relationship of artistic evidence to the lived realities of social and political life. Often she is forced to speculate, but she is always forthright about the limitations of her evidence. Not everyone will agree with all her conclusions, but no one working in the general area of her concerns can afford to ignore them." Speculum

Introduction: the Jew, the cathedral and the city
Imagining Jews and Judaism in Life and Art:
The Jew in a Christian world: denunciation and restraint in the age of cathedrals
Ecclesia and Synagoga: the life of a motif
Art and Life on the Ecclesiastical Stage - Three Case Studies: Introduction to
nature, antiquity and sculpture in the early thirteenth century
Reims: 'our Jews' and the royal sphere
Bamberg: the empire, the Jews and earthly order
Strasbourg: clerics, burghers and Jews in the medieval city
Epilogue: the afterlife of an image
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521197441
ISBN-10: 0521197449
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 346
Published: 4th April 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 18.0  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.98